Friday, October 3, 2008

Rush Lily

G’day Blogworld,
I had to go to Sale this morning and on the way home I took a circuitous route through Holey Plains – as one does.

The main purpose was to check on the progress of the Rush Lily, (Sowerbaea juncea), which Duncan and I have seen in one particular locality on several occasions now. This time last year the place was amass with the flowers. When we checked last month, we could see some buds but no flowers had appeared.

I’m afraid the story today is rather similar. After searching for quite some time, I managed to find one bush with several small flowerheads at the base.


The lack of flowers is probably a result of the very dry season we are having. As I write, there is rain on the radar – here’s hoping. If we get something decent, it might be worth a trip to see if there is any improvement.

All was not lost though. On the way I found some more Golden Grevillea, (Grevillea chrysophaea), that Duncan reported seeing recently. A beautiful plant.


Nearby were some Blue Stars, (Chamaescilla corymbosa), and a nice display of Love Creeper, (Comesperma volubile). Cripes, these scientific names sure slow down the already slow typing speed somewhat!


Another interesting one was this Common Aotus, (Aotus ericoides).

This was interesting to me for the super large flower size, some were easily 20mm across. I hope I’ve got this one right. All the other indicators point to Common Aotus – rolled in leaf margins, etc – but I’m happy to be corrected here.

(Correction: Boobook, Denis and Duncan are correct – see comments. This shrub was nearly 2 metres high, had revolute leaf margins and some hairy seed pods, all features of Aotus sp. It also had trifoliate leaves, large plain yellow flowers, and on close inspection, ciliate keel petals, features of Gompholobium sp. Think I’ll go with the three voices of experience, Common Wedge Pea. Thanks good people!)

On the way out of the park, an Echidna was trundling along the track. There was a bit of serendipity here, as Denis had just posted a beaut article on Echidnas as road kill.

I missed him/her Denis! I continued on then, musing over some of the detail in Denis’s blog and began to wonder how uncomfortable the female must be with a prickly youngster in her pouch. A quick bit of research answered my question. After a time, she hides the youngster in a burrow and returns every couple of days to feed it. Obvious I suppose!

As I finish this, guess what? I can hear rain on the roof. I’d better put on some wet gear and go lift some sprinklers on the course.
Regards,
Gouldiae

13 comments:

  1. Hope that rain kept coming down.

    Talking of being slowed down inserting taxonomic names, surely it's time for a program that cross-linked common and scientific names and did the job automatically. Let's get Google on to it!

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  2. Nice post Gouldiae, hope you don't mind if I make a correction, that's not Aotus, it's a Gompholobium, species huegelii. Haven't seen it for years, nice find.

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  3. Some nice finds there and an interesting bit of info regarding echidnas. I've never really thought about that one before.

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  4. Great blog Gouliae. Love that Aotus.

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  5. Are you sure the Aotus isn't a Gompholobium hueglii?

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  6. Hi Gouldiae
    <
    Better a live Echidna than my dead one. Yours looks like it is shuffling along pretty quickly. It is obviously the season for them to be out and about.
    <
    Lovely flowers. You have some wildflowers I do not get here. The Golden Grevillea, and the "Blue Stars" both look very nice indeed.
    <
    From this distance it is hard for me to identify unfamiliar plants, as your soils have many different flowers from what I see here. However, I suspect the Aotus might turn out to be a Gompholobium, which as a genus, do have very large flowers. Aotus is said to have red in the flower, and after the petals fall, the ovary (incipient seed pod) is said to be hairy.
    I fear the name of the Sowerbaea might also not be right. We get such a plant here, but it comes up on straight stems, above the clump of thin, onion-like leaves, with a dense clump of flowers on top (an umbel). Your plant looks closer to Stypandra in leaf form (but I think it is not one of that genus), so perhaps it might be in the related genus of Thelionema? I have no way of checking the range of that genus, as my general plant books are of NSW and have poor illustrations (thumbnail size).
    <
    Hopefully Duncan will advise us.
    Cheers
    Denis

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  8. The power of the blogworld. Thanks all. More research needed, I'll keep you posted. (That was an Echidna wasn't it?)
    Now Tony, that is a good idea.
    Gouldiae

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  9. Denis, definitely Sowerbaea juncea, the plants are suffering greatly due to lack of rainfall. There's a picture from last season when Gouldiae and I found them here.
    http://bencruachan.org/blog/?p=394

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  10. Thanks Duncan
    Perhaps the background foliage does not belong to the plant.
    Your photo (thanks for the link)looks a lot like mine, but the petals in Gouldiae's photo looked too "star-shaped" hence my suggestion of Stypandra or Thelionema (especially with all those strappy leaves in the background).
    Here, the Sowerbaea flowers with a single stem, with a cluster of flowers at the top. Mostly pendent flowers, except for a few which open up briefly. Petal shape usually rounded.
    It really was the leaves which worried me. As I said, maybe they are "background" and do not belong to the plant in flower. ???
    Denis

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  11. That'd be right Denis, the leaves on the sowerbaea before the rain looked like dry grass. We've just had 6mm so hopefully that will give them a boost.

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  12. Thanks for the great post and the beautiful flowers!

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